Candy doesn't make a regular appearance in my household. Most candy is filled with artificial colors/flavors/preservatives and excessive amounts of sugar. When I first had kids, I thought for sure that I would never let them eat traditional candy. While that may seem like a great "clean eating" objective, it's not realistic. Overly pushing healthy replacements for traditional candy on holidays like Halloween can actually have the opposite effect on your kids. I have followed these tips for the past 6 years and have taken the "candy battle" out of Halloween...
1. Just remember, its Halloween…a once-a-year event that is centered around candy. You loved it as a kid and so your kids probably love it to.
2. Don’t overly push “healthy” treats on Halloween…it might just have the opposite affect and make the candy that much more desirable and as a result, they obsess about it.
3. This is going to be the hard part…give your kids complete control and free reign over their candy for a day (or two). You’ll still want to have your regularly scheduled normal meals. But as far as snack and/or dessert time, if they want their candy, let them eat it.
4. After that day (or two)…guess what kids? Halloween is over! You can then donate the leftover candy to a food pantry or there are organizations in most cities that collect leftover candy and send it to the troops over seas.
5. Back to business as usual at home. Break out that blender and get the kids back on track with a nutrient-dense green smoothie!
Following this strategy not only takes the battle of Halloween, it also teaches your children how to regulate their own intake of sweets. Most kids will fall into one of two categories...the one that goes overboard and eats so much candy that they feel sick or the one that feels so in control of their candy, that it takes the novelty out of it and they eat very little. I have a kid that falls into each of these categories...the one that eats so much candy that she feels sick, she experiences this terrible feeling once and then learns (on her own!) that she doesn't like the natural consequences of how she feels when she eats too much. Rather than it being MY decision, she makes her own decision...this control over what they eat and learning how their body feels when they make food choices will serve them well into adulthood. Taking the battle out of it actually empowers them to make better choices on their own.
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